The Hollywood Reporter. September 4-10, 2001
By Melissa J. Perenson

The Hollywood Reporter



Overachiever Joel Goldsmith provides the 'SG-1' underscore.

Composer Joel Goldsmith was enlisted for a tour of duty with "Stargate SG-1" by executive producers Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright, with whom he'd worked on the Showtime series "The Outer Limits."

The composer jump-started the pilot in 1997 and has been underscoring the series ever since. "Generally, I try to approach it emotionally. I look for subtexts that I can exploit musically," Goldsmith says. "Over the years, we've developed a lot of themes for different characters and tried to give all of these different alien creatures their own identity." Goldsmith found the right pitch early in the series, receiving a 1998 Emmy nomination for his work on the season one episode "The Nox."

In spite of the show's frequent doses of sly humor, Goldsmith prefers to keep the pace stately - especially in deference to the series' military overtones. "I tend to keep a stoic, noble feeling about the military. And often I'll ignore the humor. I just let [the jokes] play and stay quiet," he says. "It's easy to get cartoony if you play the humor."

Instead, Goldsmith has adopted the sweeping sound that was established in the feature film. "We've always wanted to have a symphonic sound, even though we do much of it electronically," he says. "The original tone (for the 'Stargate' score) was set by David Arnold. And we've stayed true to his initial tone for 'Stargate SG-1': It's a big score, and the music is important. It works very well with the show." The main-title theme for the show is Arnold's from the film; Goldsmith contributed the end-credit theme.

Goldsmith typically has a week to score an episode. After he reviews the producer's cut, he receives the final cut. From his L.A. studio, he teleconferences with producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper in Vancouver and they "go through the show scene-by-scene. Robert or Brad will talk about it and tell me where they feel the music should begin and where it should end."

Although Goldsmith relishes the freedom he has to experiment with the score, he acknowledges that the final result represents the close collaboration between himself and the producers. "The producers are really into the music," he says. "They're clear on what they want and are able to communicate that while still giving me creative freedom and encouragement to go off in my own direction. That part is a big bonus. Composers don't get flexibility like that very often."

Perenson, Melissa J., "Sci-Vibe." The Hollywood Reporter. September 4-10, 2001: p. S-4.

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